IN VINO VERITAS

Chapter 7

When Dean came to his senses he wasn’t sure if anything was real. He felt out-of-focus, disconnected and was only capable of functioning in the moment. The past was a blur; hazy, spinning fragments of pain and humiliation and he didn’t want to go back there right now.

What mattered was that he was warm and comfortable; when he opened his eyes he discovered he was in a luxuriant four-poster bed and covered by sheets and blankets. There was a drip feed in his left arm and he automatically reached across to pull it out. The small action caused pain to broadcast all over his body but it didn’t trouble him much; it felt distant and removed. He decided to leave the needle where it was; whatever it was doing seemed to be working and he was okay with that.

It took him a moment to realise he was wearing no shirt and he came close to panic. He lifted the bed covers hastily; relieved beyond measure to find he at least had a pair of boxer shorts on. They looked new; definitely not part of his faded, worn out collection, but he was too dopey to wonder where they’d come from and who’d put them on him. He noticed he was also wearing a lot of bruises and his left side was covered with surgical dressing and tape. It was spotted with blood and, curious, he ran his fingers over the area. He discovered it hurt quite a lot more than the rest of him and decided not to pursue it further.

Dean looked round the room. It smelled of wood smoke and could only be described as opulent; the panelled oak walls were hung with pictures and tapestries, flames licked in the grate of a stone fireplace and there was a sturdy door to his right. To his left, bay windows overlooked a broad line of trees which marched into the distance as far as he could see, like he was on the edge of a full-blown forest. The sky was low and grey but it was definitely day time; it was also raining hard and Dean could hear it drumming at the glass. The sound was comforting and, coupled with the crack of the fire; he was quickly lulled back to sleep.

The next time he woke it was dark outside but the rain hadn’t let up. He was still alone in the room, still mostly naked under the sheets but the drip feed was gone. He was more alert now and better prepared for the memories which drifted slowly into his head. He could mostly remember events up to the point he passed out at the skanky house; everything after was a blur of strange voices, bright lights and needles being stuck into him.

Dean couldn’t even guess at how long he’d been here, though clearly he’d been cared for. He checked the bandage on his side; there was no blood on it now, not so much pain and on impulse he lifted a hand, finding a similar dressing on his head. He felt okay, in a woolly kind of way, and decided it was time to say his goodbyes and get out of this hotel. It was only when he started moving he realised his left ankle was attached to the bed post by a cuff and stout chain. He flopped back onto the pillow.

“Give me a friggin’ break.”

He spent ten minutes trying to get the damned thing off. The lock was simple enough but there was nothing within his reach to serve as a pick. The chain was three feet long and offered just enough slack to let him stand; which wasn’t such a great idea, all things considered. His legs were like jelly and he sat down hard, scanning the floor for loose nails or anything else that might work on the cuff mechanism. When he heard the door to the room being unlocked he lay down quickly and pulled the covers over himself. He considered feigning sleep but what was the point when he was looking for answers?

He was expecting a man, maybe that asshole Dennis Yates; he certainly wasn’t expecting the slinky-looking chick who glided through the door. She was a little older than him; clad in a low-cut, forest green dress and her ash-blonde hair was piled into an elaborate bun. She looked high end and Dean definitely liked what he saw. She approached the bed and he hitched the covers up to his chin.

“Welcome back, Dean. How do you feel?”

She had an English accent, which made the whole package even hotter and Dean was seriously side-tracked. He struggled to keep it together. “Who are you?”

“You can call me Destiny.”

The bubble burst with an almost audible pop. “A stripper name, really? And this place looked so classy.”

She smiled. “I’m your Destiny, Dean. Past, present and whatever future you may travel.”

Dean blinked at her. “It’s a little early in the day for riddles, sweetheart. Where am I?”

She ignored the question and sat on the bed beside him. “I’m here to take care of your needs.”

Dean chewed on that for a moment and raised a hopeful eyebrow. “Every need?”

By way of reply she twitched the bedclothes aside, laid a finger on his chest and ran it seductively to his navel. Dean got goose bumps; he couldn’t figure out whether to be elated or friggin’ ecstatic. Her hand traced his tattoo and he noticed the signet ring on her pinky finger. He’d seen the symbol on it before and realised, with a jolt, the douchebags who’d paid for him were wearing the same thing. Clearly he wasn’t out of the woods; he was still a captive, still in danger and the realisation forced his mind towards the most important issue; the small matter of escape.

“Need number one, darling: I really gotta pee so how about you unlock this chain and show me the men’s room?”

Destiny wasn’t even slightly phased. “I’ve got a better idea.”

She reached under the bed and pulled out a chamber pot. Dean groaned.

“Are you kidding me?”

She wasn’t kidding; she handed him the pot and waited expectantly until Dean’s face began to redden. “You gonna sit there and watch?”

Destiny got to her feet. “Let me fetch you something while you take care of business. Are you hungry?”

Dean was ravenous but that wasn’t his priority. “How long have I been here?”

“A while... You were hurt; we took care of you.”

Question sidestepped. Dean was about to re-phrase it when his stomach entered the conversation with a loud growl. Destiny smiled.

“What can I get you?”

Right now Dean could have demolished a zoo. His stomach was so empty it felt like it was chewing on itself. “How about a couple of cheese burgers?”

She looked at him blankly and he tried again. “Three?”

Dean knew he probably wouldn’t be getting burgers but Destiny left the room, locking the door after. He really did need a leak so he pulled himself out of bed and emptied his bladder; it hurt like a son of a bitch and he wasn’t surprised to see blood in the pot. He’d taken some hard knocks to his kidneys during the fight in the lot and it wasn’t the first time he’d pissed blood; he doubted it would be the last either. When he was done he tucked the pot under the bed and climbed back in.

Destiny returned presently carrying a silver tray which held a bowl, half a French stick, a bottle of wine and two glasses. She put the wine and glasses on the night stand and placed the tray in his lap. The bowl contained some kind of beef stew which smelled fantastic but as he made to dig in, instinct made him hesitate. He sniffed cautiously at the food.

“Am I gonna regret this?”

All he got in response was the same blank look as before. Destiny was beginning to remind him of a Stepford Wife; one whose programming was on the frizz.

“Is it poisoned?”

She laughed but it sounded mechanical. “Why would we go to the expense of patching you up just to poison you?”

Dean frowned. “Who’s we?”

She didn’t answer, just pulled the fork from his hand and took a mouthful of food. After that she poured some wine and chugged it. Dean’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

“Well if you put it like that…”

Dean stuffed his face. The food was rich; something you might order in a swanky restaurant, though he hadn’t experienced too many of those. Destiny gave him the name of the dish but it sounded foreign and he forgot it instantly. It tasted good, there was plenty of it and he finished up in record time, using the last of the bread to wipe the bowl clean. After that he started in on the wine; it wasn’t exactly his drink of choice but he figured any port in a storm. It went down easily; smooth and fruity and half the glass was gone before he knew it.

Destiny was sitting by the fire, staring into the flames and sipping her own wine in silence. Dean got bored and passed time by studying the unusual-looking wine bottle; coloured gold and decorated ornately. The neck flared at the top into something which looked like a pine cone and there was an animal shape embossed onto the glass. He looked closer and discovered it was some kind of cat; maybe an ocelot or puma. The label on the bottle was also elaborate, a fruiting vine border with spidery script bearing the name Casa de la Cosecha. Dean knew it meant House of… whatever but his Spanish was rudimentary at best and he wasn’t in the mood to puzzle out the rest of it. He glanced across at Destiny.

“This is a thrilling conversation.”

She smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. “What would you like to talk about?”

Dean shrugged. “Just small talk, you know? Unimportant shit like why you abducted me and chained me to a friggin’ bed.”

She stood up and approached. She was beginning to look a little unreal, like he might be dreaming this and Dean shook his head to try and clear it. She sat beside him.

“I knew you’d like the chain.”

Her finger was back on his chest, moving steadily downwards and this time she didn’t stop at his navel; she went lower. She slid her hand beneath the covers and began caressing him lightly through his thin fabric of his boxers. God it felt good. He twitched and inhaled sharply; almost dropping his wine in the process and Destiny intercepted the glass; placing it carefully on the night stand. Her other hand didn’t let up and Dean was having trouble concentrating.

“Is this some kind of, uh… sex slave deal?”

“I know what you like, Dean.” Her voice was almost a purr. “I know everything about you.”

Even in his advanced state of distraction, Dean wasn’t buying that. “You don’t know jack about me, sister.”

She ignored him and continued her work. Dean was feeling decidedly woozy now and he was getting off on this in a big way. The idea of being her sex slave didn’t sound half bad actually…

Abruptly she stopped what she was doing and he groaned. His libido was racing, taking control and he needed that hand back in position. Destiny pushed the half-empty glass of wine into his hand.

“Drink.”

The penny dropped with a clunk and Dean cursed himself for being so sluggish on the uptake. “You want me to drink more summer wine? Do I look like a moron?”

There was the blank look again; he was getting used to that. “Destiny, did you grow up on Vulcan?”

A slight frown crossed her face. “What’s Vulcan?”

“Apparently you did”. Dean gazed at her blearily. “I know when I’ve been roofied, sweetheart. Was it in the wine?”

He realised she was drinking the same wine. “You drank it as well... What the hell?”

Destiny smiled. “It was in the glass but it feels good, doesn’t it? Helps with the pain?”

Dean knew this wasn’t any kind of regular pain medication but he had to agree it felt good. Destiny’s hand was sliding across his stomach, her fingers teasing under the waistband of his shorts as she pressed the glass to his lips.

“Drink.”

Dean took a sip and felt the hand move fractionally lower. That was her game, huh? He wouldn’t get what he wanted until he’d finished the booze. He thought about it for a moment and figured what the hell; he was far enough gone that the idea of drugged sex was becoming more appealing by the second. He took a gulp of wine and the hand teased lower, nails scratching gently at the hairs above his crotch. Another gulp and he was done; the hand landed at ground zero and Destiny worked him like a pro. Dean reached for the back of her head, pulled her close but she jerked away and slapped his face.

“You don’t get to do that.”

That turned him on even more but he also had what he needed. As she stood and began unzipping her dress, he looked for a safe place to stash the hairpin he’d just lifted. He considered tucking it under the bandage on his side, then realised the dressing might get changed without him being conscious. The fuzziness in his brain was making coherent thought difficult but he got there in the end; he reached under the mattress and pinned it there securely.

Destiny didn’t notice his furtive movements as she slipped out of the dress, revealing a slender figure and the skimpiest of underwear. She climbed onto the bed and straddled him. He winced as her weight pulled on his injuries but he was way past caring about little things like pain. He reached towards her, intending to unhook her bra and she grabbed his wrists, pushing his hands up behind his head.

“If you don’t keep your hands to yourself I’ll fetch the other chains. Would you like that?”

Dean shook his head but suspected the dopey grin on his face was giving the game away. Destiny gave him the kind of smile which promised heaven, on her terms and his grin widened. It looked like heaven might be just round the corner.

“I heard England’s a really kinky place.”

Destiny leaned forward and fluttered her tongue against his ear. “Let me give you the tour.”



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